No, Irons was tops. Eileen Atkins seemed to me to totally miss the humour, the different voices and rhythms and was actually disappointingly unidiomatic. Irons had something to say.
Our Mutual Friend unread ???
Read it at once ! Surely one of his most enjoyable and greatest novels !
Although recordings by Alec Guinness & Paul Scofield of Eliot's verse have given me much pleasure, I have memories going back further in time of Robert Speight as being as near perfect as one might wish for.
Does anyone remember him ? I had an LP of the Four Quartets, a treasured item - or am I remembering back through rose - tinted earphones.
Waste Land was one of my A level texts;
No love lost, and too much sex...
I sleep, much of the night, and turn the heat off in summer.
Fascinating to read the original version with Ezra Pound's red ink scribbled over it. He did a mrvellous job of knocking it into shape.
I love Alec Guinness reading TSE. His treasure trove of accents are priceless. His lisping old Cockney lady with the whistle
through her teeth is just one of so many wonderful nuggets:
"When Lil's husband got demobbed, I said -
I didn't mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME
Now Albert's coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He'll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
To get herself some teeth. He did, I was there.
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can't bear to look at you.
And no more can't I, I said, and think of poor Albert...."
Which accent is exactly what we did NOT get from Mme Atkins IMO.